I had on my to-do list "buy underwear" at the weekend. Being a man of a certain age and proclivity, this is a straightforward task as to paraphrase Theresa May, "underwear means underwear".
I am however a man who cannot resist a bargain. This is particularly true if found in department store displays conveniently near to the checkout. It was in this situation that I came across a pack of three undergarments going for a fraction of the price of the underwear I had selected. The decision was obvious, particularly given the price. I had to buy the cheaper ones.
When I got home, I realised that I had in fact bought three sets of austerity underpants. They did what was required but were cut back to the minimum. The front was sufficient but the back was almost entirely absent. I was now the proud owner of three posing pouches.
Having no appetite to exchange them, I was inquisitive what it would be like to contain my bits in such a garment which packages them in a bright but meagre manner, similar to how supermarkets sell chicken thighs although without the "consume by" date.
I tried them on in private, aware of the ridicule I was likely to get from my nearest and dearest. They were surprisingly comfortable but saints alive, what was happening around the back.
It was clear immediately that the winter months are not sensitive to the wearer of such a garment. An infra-red picture of my body would have recognised I was warm except for the two blue globes of my rear. The coldness of my backside remained a continuing feature when I was wearing these garments - it was like my back door had been left open causing cold air to pour across the lightly covered savannah of my behind.
The strap of material wedged into my bottom bringing together the back of this garment with the front is worth a mention. To start with, it is not a natural fit being more akin to a draught excluder than something designed by the hand of God. However, much like dental floss, you can get used to it.
There is a wealth of possibilities on what can be done with this strap. For instance, it is a fundamental principle of reed instruments (e.g. oboe, clarinet) that applying wind across a tight reed will lead to a musical note being sounded. Applying this to posing pouches given the proximity of the strap to a considerable source of air, they could be sold not only by size (small, medium, large) but by pitch. This is relevant as pouches tuned to a low C would be comfortable but wearable only by the large bottomed. As you go up the scale, the degree of tautness would increase, reducing as it does the level of comfort in the case of a high B.
I was only fair to let the Pickwick daughters into my discovery, particularly as on occasions such as these parents can truly embarrass their children. In both cases, I achieved the desired outcome.
For one, having been told the story during an afternoon outing, she asked me nervously "I can't believe I am asking this, but are you wearing one?". She was not prepared for the answer.
In the case of the other, she caught sight of me wearing them as I changed to go out for the evening with her. I will remember the sound she made until my dying day - a combination of torment and disbelief. It was a sound however that made me stop wearing this garment given my parental responsibility not to let my children suffer needlessly.
My experience with posing pouches has shown me that there is a strong case for clothes to be sold with a "best before" date. That is, this garment is best worn before the wearer is 30 years of age or whatever is deemed appropriate by a panel of experts. This will mitigate the risk of the inappropriate wear of sequinned hotpants by those for whom they are of no decorative purpose or represent any net improvement to their sartorial elegance.
I now appreciate even more the contribution of the ladies in all things undergarment. The minimal size of garment employed by many ladies in clothing the covered parts of their Southern Hemispheres does in fact resemble what I have been wearing myself. This shows me that the wearing of such garments are another example of where women suffer for their sex joining a long list including childbirth, menstruation and the wearing of high heels. On this International Women's Day, Ladies of the World, I salute you.
I have decided therefore to hang up my posing pouches and return to more voluminous and warm under-apparel. It is worthy of note .that Mrs Pickwick made this decision many years ago. Going forward, I will use my posing pouches for storing bulbs and Faberge eggs while recognising their slingshot characteristics should I need to slay giants. My bottom like a sensitive museum exhibit will remain under wraps displayed only to those with a professional, academic or marital interest.